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Stylised Facts and the Contribution of Simulation to the Economic Analysis of Budgeting

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Abstract

The application of computer simulation as a research method raises two important questions: (1) Does simulation really offer added value over established methods? (2) How can the danger of arbitrariness caused by the extended modelling possibilities be minimised? We present the concept of stylised facts as a methodological basis for approaching these questions systematically. In particular, stylised facts provide a point of reference for a comparative analysis of models intended to explain an observable phenomenon. This is shown with reference to a recent discussion in the "economic analysis of accounting" literature where established methods, i.e. game theory, as well as computer simulations are used: the susceptibility of the "Groves mechanism" to collusion. Initially, we identify six stylised facts on the stability of collusion in empirical studies. These facts serve as a basis for the subsequent comparison of four theoretical models with reference to the above questions: (1) We find that the simulation models of Krapp and Deliano offer added value in comparison to the game theoretical models. They can be related to more stylised facts, achieve a better reproduction and exhibit far greater potential for incorporating yet unaddressed stylised facts. (2) Considered in the light of the stylised facts to which the models can be related, Deliano's simulation model exhibits considerable arbitrariness in model design and lacks information on its robustness. In contrast, Krapp demonstrates that this problem is not inherent to the method. His simulation model methodically extends its game theoretical predecessors, leaving little room for arbitrary model design or questionable parameter calibration. All in all, the stylisedfactsconcept proved to be very useful in dealing with the questions simulation researchers are confronted with. Moreover, a "research landscape" emerges from the derived stylised facts pinpointing issues yet to be addressed.

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  • Bernd-O. Heine & Matthias Meyer & Oliver Strangfeld, 2005. "Stylised Facts and the Contribution of Simulation to the Economic Analysis of Budgeting," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 8(4), pages 1-4.
  • Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2005-62-1
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    Cited by:

    1. Albers, Scott, 2013. "Okun’s Law as a Pi-to-1 ratio: A harmonic / trigonometric theory as to why Okun’s Law works," MPRA Paper 46633, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ammar Malik & Andrew Crooks & Hilton Root & Melanie Swartz, 2015. "Exploring Creativity and Urban Development with Agent-Based Modeling," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 18(2), pages 1-12.
    3. Lorscheid, Iris & Meyer, Matthias, 2016. "Divide and conquer: Configuring submodels for valid and efficient analyses of complex simulation models," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 326(C), pages 152-161.
    4. Martin Neumann, 2015. "Grounded Simulation," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 18(1), pages 1-9.
    5. Juan Manuel Larrosa, 2016. "Agentes computacionales y análisis económico," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 18(34), pages 87-113, January-J.
    6. Matthias Meyer, 2011. "Bibliometrics, Stylized Facts and the Way Ahead: How to Build Good Social Simulation Models of Science?," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 14(4), pages 1-4.

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